This Is How The Wind ShiftsFeatured review by: UG Team, on february 06, 2013 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Hard-working post-hardcore outfit Silverstein seem to have had better luck than a lot of their contemporaries. Bands like Aiden, Senses Fail and Hawthorne Heights shared their mid-2000s heyday but they've lost a lot of momentum since. Many find themselves back on the club circuit out of ideas and running thin on support. The Canadians on the other hand are doing a little better for themselves, but "This Is How The Wind Shifts" is their first without lead guitarist Neil Boshart, who is replaced by former tour stand-in Paul Marc Rousseau. Can a major change behind the wheel reinvigorate a band burdened with an aging sound?
It can, to an extent. It's quickly apparent that there's a desire to go on the offensive, here, with chuggy riffs and choppy tempo changes breaking up the usual hook-laden fare more regularly and with a new belief. Shane Told's screams – at last – blend into the mix properly. This is undoubtedly the best production job the band have had in their career, which I'm sure is partly down to the shake-up in the guitar department.
A degree of self-awareness is required to really get into some of these songs – learn to become unfazed by the cheesiness of the choruses and perpetual adolescence of Told and "A Better Place", "On Brave Mountains We Conquer" and many more can get the blood pumping nicely. Expect little joy if you can't break down a few walls for this album. // 6
Lyrics and Singing: As concepts go this has a rather good one. Each track from the first half of the album has a corresponding one in the second, which retells the story with one crucial detail changed; "Massachusetts" pairs "California", "Arrivals" pairs "Departures" and so on. A woman may, for example, be convinced to stay with her abusive partner on the first half but choose to move away on the second. The key point is that a single decision or event can change the course of history dramatically, depending on how the wind shifts. These stories are, of course, romantic ones told in typically melodramatic fashion, with lots of sleepless nights, broken hearts and such like. It wouldn't be Silverstein otherwise, but the concept has a lot more potential than is explored here. // 7
Impression: The heavy side is much improved and the hooks are perhaps the best Silverstein have ever written, but at the end of the day this album's come several years too late. The concept is interesting, the pacing is perfect and you can't fault them for effort but the heart of the band hasn't changed. Recruiting a new generation of fans will take more than this. As the nasally American post-hardcore sound moves into its twilight years and less and less bands enjoy commercial success with it, ultimately the sound must diversify or risk losing its appeal. "This Is How The Wind Shifts" is a good listen for fans but most definitely runs that risk.
This Is How The Wind Shifts
Joshua Garcia, on february 20, 2013 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: With Neil Boshart's departure from the band, this is the first album Silverstein has recorded with new guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau. With this album, it not only shows how well Rousseau blends in, but also how well Silverstein can create something unique. The sound is everything you'd expect from a Silverstein album, but it also adds a certain new vibe to it that none of the past albums seemed to quite have. It starts off on the heavier side with tracks like "Stand Amid The Roar" and "On Brave Mountains We Conquer" which pack a lot of suspense while staying rhythmic. And of course, there's the more melodic tracks like "A Better Place" and "California", which have an instantly catchy rhythm with a dramatic sound. But then there are the additional tracks which have a softer sound, like the track "Arrivals", which is new and completely different, but plays out nicely. The tone on the track "To Love And To Lose" is different as well, having a sort of slow, pop like sound to it, which is quite frankly stepping out of their comfort zone, but they make it work out soo well. Overall, it's incredibly well balanced and isn't overdone with the new ideas brought to the table. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Silverstein has always been known for their emotionally powerful lyrics. This album is no exception. From cleans to screams, Shane's vocals remain as dynamic as ever for each tune. The album is actually a concept album, and the concept being how easily life can be changed in one moment when faced with the other side of 'what if?'. The general lyrics in the song "Stand Amid The Roar" reflects on this with lyrics like: "We were designed for more resilience than this. But we don't know how and we live in the now. If we were smarter maybe we would try to fake it". The song "Massachusetts" is also a good example, talking about a girl who fantasizes about running away every night, but can't find the strength to make a difference in her life. Each song is deep, meaningful, and tells the story differently, having been effected by that one event. // 8
Impression: The end result is a satisfying album which delivers the best that we have come to expect from Silverstein. It may be slightly leaning to the more melodic side, but this is no way a soft album. Whether it be the catchy melodies, the heavy guitar riffs and breakdowns, and everything in between, this album has something for everyone. Most notable tracks would be "On Brave Mountains We Conquer", "Massachusetts", "A Better Place", "California", and "To Live And To Lose". If it were to get lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again and again. It's definitely worth the buy. Especially if you're the kind of Silverstein fan who likes something new with that sound you love. // 9